Reese Witherspoon and Alexander Payne: A Starry, Starry Night in Chicago
It was certainly a starry night in Chicago on June 23 when three major cinematic forces came together for a brilliant evening of food and film. Nestled in the back of the Ritz Carlton, Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter Alexander Payne moderated an intimate post-dinner Q&A with Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon at the annual Gene Siskel Film Center benefit, which also honored Ms. Witherspoon with the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Renaissance Award.
While Witherspoon and Payne are clearly powerhouses of modern cinema, The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute has been a guiding light of film programming for 40 years, “presenting independent and international cinema, film festivals, cutting edge programs, premieres, retrospectives and classic films. Recognized internationally for its original film programming, the Film Center annually presents approximately 1,500 screenings and 100 guest artist appearances to more than 80,000 film enthusiasts.” Proceeds from the benefit will support the Gene Siskel Film Center’s programs, including lecture series and discussions with visiting scholars and filmmakers.
Early in the evening, current programming director of the Gene Siskel Film Center, Barbara Scharres, was highlighted for her tremendous accomplishments in eclectic, meaningful and visionary programming. Later, Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow congratulated Reese in a playful video that played before a packed room of Gene Siskel Film Center supporters. The evening concluded with the president of the School of the Art Institute, Walter Massey, and Chairman of the GSFC Advisory Board, Ellen Sandor, presenting Ms. Witherspoon with the Renaissance Award.
July 14, 2012 • Category: Career, Pacific Standard •
Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon to Produce “Gone Girl” Adaptation
In a whopping summer auction that reached seven figures, 20th Century Fox acquired Gone Girl, the Gillian Flynn novel that was just published by Crown and is atop The New York Times Bestseller List for the second week in a row. The book will be produced by Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea, along with Leslie Dixon. Flynn will write the screenplay. Other studios including Universal were in on the action and I think the Fifty Shades Of Grey action has elevated interest in bestsellers geared to female readers.
A woman disappears on the day of her fifth anniversary and all roads point to her husband as the killer. Flynn, who has three novels on the bestseller lists all at once, has two other movie projects in the works. Dark Places has Amy Adams attached to star, with Gilled Paquet-Brenner directing and her first novel, Sharp Objects, was optioned by Alliance with Blumhouse’s Jason Blum producing. Fox’s New York office, headed by Drew Reed, was all over this book. Reed and Chris Goldberg teamed with Peter Kang to bring it in. It was sold by Smiley Group’s Shari Smiley, the former longtime CAA agent who teamed with Stephanie Rostan of Levine/Greenberg Literary Agency. Smiley also sold the screen rights to the Cheryl Strayed book Wild, which currently sits atop the Non Fiction bestseller list. Pacific Standard bought it, with The Kids Are All Right’s Lisa Cholodenko adapting to direct.
July 4, 2012 • Category: Career, Public Appearances •
Comments Off on Chicago Tribune: Siskel Film Center honors Witherspoon
“Being pregnant, I hope I don’t get too emotional taking a walk down memory lane,” said Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon before her Q-and-A and film retrospective June 23 at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago for an event benefiting the Gene Siskel Film Center. Witherspoon was in town to receive the Renaissance Award, following in the footsteps of honorees who include George Lucas, Jamie Foxx,Robert Downey Jr. and Nicole Kidman.
Jean de St. Aubin, executive director of the film center, introduced two-time Oscar-winning director Alexander Payne, who directed Witherspoon in “Election.” He interviewed her in a lively segment that also showed film clips from her career, including “Walk the Line,” the film for which she won a best actress Oscar.
“It’s difficult for a woman to be able to do both comedy and drama. It’s a privilege to be able to do both,” Witherspoon said. The actress is currently filming “Devil’s Knot” with Colin Firth in Atlanta. After filming is concluded, she plans on taking time off to have her baby.
Marlene Iglitzen, Gene Siskel’s widow, attended the fundraiser with her three children, Kate, Callie and Will. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. He would be so proud to see all of these people here tonight.” Other attendees included Marc Klutznick (co-chair), Anita Liskey (co-chair), Camille Cook (film center founder), Shirley and Dr. Walter Massey (president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Dusty and Alex Stemer, and Diana Palomar.
The more than $340,000 raised will support programming at the film center.
The previously announced ‘An Evening With Reese Witherspoon Hosted By The Gene Siskel Film Center’ took place in Chicago last night, and Reese accepted her award looking chic in a little navy blue dress. Election director Alexander Payne presented the award to her, and Reese told reporters before that he “was a big champion for me early on, and said, ‘That’s the girl I want in my movie,’ so I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for him. And we’ve subsequently become very close friends.”
Reese gave an interview to the Chicago Sun Times for the event, and you can read that below. Over 50 photos from this event – most of which are HQ – have been added to our Gallery for you!
Congratulations to Reese on this wonderful honour!
Reese Witherspoon: “My full-time job is being a mother”
Being pregnant was no obstacle for Reese Witherspoon as far as Cannes is concerned. Though she’s five months along in her pregnancy, Reese was her typically bright and energetic self when she appeared at the fabled French film festival to promote her new film, MUD, starring Matthew McConaughey as a fugitive on the run looking to meet up with his long lost love (Witherspoon). Along the way, he meets up with two young boys anxious to learn about the world. Witherspoon posed playfully with McConaughey along the Croisette, signed autographs for fans, and generally looked radiant while her husband/agent/prospective father of her child Jim Toth was at her side. “This is such a beautiful and happy time in my life and I was very pleased to be able to come to Cannes and support the film,” Witherspoon said. “I play a kind of messed-up country girl in the film but I loved the fact that the story was set in the place where I grew up and was about these two boys learning about the world. I remember what it was like riding dirt bikes and getting into mischief with my brother, and I thought it was a beautiful story that took me back home in a way.”
The 36-year-old Witherspoon was sporting a serious baby bump in her black Versace dress and pink stilettos as she was seen making the rounds of various receptions at the prestigious film festival.
Witherspoon grew up as a part of an affluent family in Tennessee. Her father was distinguished surgeon and her mother was a top surgical nurse and later teaching nurse. She was famously married to actor Ryan Philippe for nine years until their 2008. She admits to having suffered for a time until meeting Hollywood agent Jim Toth two years ago. They were married in March of last year. She has two children from her former marriage to Ryan Philippe, Ava, 12, and Deacon, 9.
June 8, 2012 • Category: "Wild", Producing •
Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon Celebrates Oprah Winfrey’s Revived Book Club Pick
The actress optioned “Wild” late last year as a starring vehicle, months before the memoir was published this spring.
When Oprah Winfrey announced June 1 that Cheryl Strayed’s hiking memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail was the first pick of her revived book club, among those most excited by the announcement were Reese Witherspoon and her producing partner Bruna Papandrea. The pair, who recently joined forced on their new Pacific Standard banner, had optioned the book in November, four months before its March publication date, as a starring vehicle for the actress.
“It was the first thing we picked up together,” Papandrea says of the project, which Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) is on board to direct. As a result of the Winfrey pick, the Knopf book has seen its Amazon sales position spike from No. 175 to No. 16.
“Wild is a magical and evocative book about losing everything – family, money, your mother, your partner – and finding your true spirit alone in the woods,” Witherspoon tells THR. “I urge everyone to go out and read this amazing story of one woman’s journey to find herself.”
Pacific Standard is the combined shingle of Witherspoon’s Type A Films —whose projects included Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, Four Christmases and This Means War — and Papandrea’s Make Movies, which is behind the upcoming zombie feature Warm Bodies, helmed by Jonathan Levine (50/50).
Apologies for the delay on this – it’s been a busy week again – but I have now added over 400 HQ photos from last weekend’s Cannes Film Festival Mud photocall! Reese looked chic and pretty in her little black Versace dress and super cute pink heels. Be sure to check out the extremely gorgeous close-up shots towards the end of the album in particular!
I will be uploaded the premiere photos later today/tomorrow…
“I grew up near a river. My brother and I used to do motocross, we went fishing… I felt at home and that is rare on screen. Few films show the Southern United States as it really is. In general, I don’t take on this type of role, but when I read the script, I was reassured to know that this film would ring true.”
– Reese on Mud, at the Cannes Film Festival press conference
Glamour Reese Witherspoon is an unofficial fansite dedicated to supporting and promoting the career of Reese Witherspoon. We have no contact with Ms Witherspoon or her family or management. No copyright infringement is intended through the use of content within this website ...